Che Fu Profile

aka Che Ness
Gareth Shute
Published: 26 May 2013
Updated: 26 Jun 2018

With two multi-platinum albums and two that went gold, Che Fu is one of the best-selling hip hop acts to ever come out of New Zealand. But his commercial success is only part of his achievement. When he arrived as a solo act in the mid-90s, local hip hop and R&B survived within a small underground scene and there seemed little chance of it crossing over to the mainstream. Che Fu broke through with a run of massive hits and effectively paved the way for the golden years of local rap that would follow in the mid-00s.

Che Ness was introduced to live music at an early age – he was four years old when he found himself on the stage at Western Springs Stadium in April 1979, watching Bob Marley perform from a position next to the Wailers’ keyboard player. His Niuean father, Tigilau Ness, went on to become one of the key figures in the local Rastafarian movement, helping start the 12 Tribes of Israel organisation in New Zealand in 1982, and in the birth of the Auckland reggae scene through his band, Unity Pacific.

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Lightwork
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Che Fu with Anthony Ioasa in the mid 1990s. Herbs' Charlie Tumahai is just behind.
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Herbs and Che Fu sing Slice Of Heaven at the 2001 Silver Scrolls
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Che Fu in 2001 - the picture on his T-shirt is Che as a baby with his dad, Tigi Ness
Photo credit: Photo by Gary Brandon
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Chains Reloaded
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Scene III
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Chr Fu - Misty Frequencies (2002)
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AWA feat. Che Fu - Papatuanuku
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Dam Native feat. Che Fu - The Son
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Fade Away
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DLT feat. Che Fu - Chains
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Homegrown profiles: Che Fu (2005, NZ On Screen)
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Waka
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Che Fu feat. Aaradhna - Spin One
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Sony BMG

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Trivia:

The artwork for 2BSpacific was done by Otis Frizzell and laid out by Che’s old supergroove bandmate, Ben Sciascia.

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